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Author Topic: Helmets : How tight is too tight  (Read 961 times)

1 Thump

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Helmets : How tight is too tight
« on: April 24, 2013, 08:43:26 PM »
I have been back on a bike after about a 10 year hiatus for the last three years. I got me self a 3/4 face helmet when I got back on two wheels. Last week I decided to get a full face and ordered a Shoei Qwest. It looks very well made.... better than my 3/4 HJC. The 3/4 was a 'large' and in the two years as the foam set in it did not remain snug as new. I remeasured head circumference and it came to an equivalent medium on the Shoei. I put it on yesterday and I gotta say it is tight...tighter than snug, even slightly uncomfortable. I could not keep it on for a few minutes, had the urge to remove it. Now, I know its going to break-in a loosen with use and I may feel better. But the question remains: From a safety stand point : How tight should a helmet be. The guy at the store told me that you should not be able to wiggle your head inside and that slight discomfort is good because it will break in to the right size. Might I add that the discomfort was only on the cheeks and jaw. I will check if they have thinner cheek pads.

As always, your views are most helpful.

Rich Mintz

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Re: Helmets : How tight is too tight
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2013, 08:50:40 PM »
I'm a new rider and I felt exactly the same way about my new full-face helmet (too tight in cheeks and jaw) when I first put it on in December. I got used to it (and it softened) and now it feels normal, and other helmets feel "too loose."

boggy

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Re: Helmets : How tight is too tight
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2013, 08:57:43 PM »
Hey Thump,
I've "heard" that a full face helmet should squeeze your cheeks in a way that almost makes you do a "kissy face," but certainly not to the point of discomfort.  I have an Arai Profile (now called something else) that I could literally wear all day.  It's snug, but super comfortable.

I've also "heard" that any discomfort you feel in the first few seconds after putting on the helmet, will only increase.  The most important thing about helmet fitting isn't so much the small, medium, large sizing but what kind of SHAPE the helmet is. For me that Arai was one of the only choices as my head shape is evidently "extreme oval."  Yup, I'm an alien.  Rounder helmets that fit side to side would jam my head. Rounder helmets that allowed me front to back comfort had too much room on the sides.  Hence, the need for an oval shape.

To my knowledge, Arai is the only manufacturer to offer helmets in different "shapes."  You got to go somewhere that has a ton of options to try on and on and on.

If your skull is comfortable though, you might be able to find thinner cheek pads.  I would not suggest any "modding" though.  Something out there has to fit.

I've found this web-bike-world page to be super informative:
http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-helmets/motorcycle-helmet-faq.htm

Good luck.
Boggy
2007 AVL
2006 DRZ400SM

boggy

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Re: Helmets : How tight is too tight
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2013, 09:11:49 PM »
Check out this link too. Cheek pads in different sizes for the Qwest, from 31mm to 41mm.

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/14/67/934/30660/ITEM/Shoei-Cheek-Pads-For-RF-1100-and-Qwest-Helmets.aspx
2007 AVL
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barenekd

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Re: Helmets : How tight is too tight
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2013, 09:23:37 PM »
They should be snug, but not painful. As for your pain, Is the helmet  tight all the way around, or does it squeeze your head in a specific direction? I have a long head and a lot of helmets are way to tight on my forehead. About all you can do is get a brand that fits longer heads. Bell are generally quite round, for instance. I have some difficulty one that is even reasonably comfortable, although the Apex does work for me. A 500 doesn't. For open face helmets, the Fulmer fits me great, far better than the Bell 500. The problem with Fulmer is that you have to find a shop that carries them as they don't sell them online. They want to make sure you tried it on before you buy.
I had an AGV full face that was quite tight, but not terribly uncomfortable. It was tight enough on my jaws to give me a case of TMJ, which is pushing on my jaw hard enough to knock it out of joint. Now that got painful. I quit wearing the helmet and it went away. I went back to it later and all the previous wearing had loosened it up enough that, after the jaw healed up, I could wear it again. I ended up going over the handlebars when a car T-boned me and wiped it out.
Saved my head, though!
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GreenMachine

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Re: Helmets : How tight is too tight
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 09:01:27 PM »
Just purchased a Fulmer V2 open face with a bubble shield f/u/w the Yamaha..I've forgotten what a new helmet feels like...Tight indeed especially comparing it to the British racing green Fulmer AF-255 Open face that I wear riding Green Machine..Both are Size Large but different models...The  AF-255 is over 5 yrs old, so it has broken in to the point where is slides right in the old noggin...Never a good idea to buy a helmet over the internet and per my conversation with Fulmer they requires that you buy their helmets thru their local distributor network.  They do  sell helmet accessories via internet sales .
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young gun

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Re: Helmets : How tight is too tight
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 03:24:26 PM »
I'm in the same position right now :) I've taken a look at the Shark S900 and for the most part it's more comfortable than the other helmets I've tried on besides Arai, but I dont have a budget for Arai unfortunately (maybe the next helmet). The medium, which is my head size (56/57) is super tight and I wear glasses which complicate things massively. The s900 is the only helmet in my budget that has pads you can take out to facilitate glasses?! It's also got an air bladder that fills up around the cheeks and the back of the neck. Maybe that's the way if the future? Makes sense to me.